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  #1  
Old 11-11-2003, 11:45 PM
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Thumbs up A bit of George Washington's Wisdom on Veteran's Day

This is from the commentary section of today's Washington Time's, but is not slanted either way:

The essential veteran's vision


By Gary M. Galles



On Veteran's Day, we honor those who have risked their lives in military service for America. Other countries have similar commemorations of the valor of their servicemen and women, but the vision Americans have fought for sets ours apart. From Revolutionary times, our military forces have fought to create and defend something unprecedented what Abraham Lincoln called "a new nation conceived in liberty."
To honor America's vision along with those who served to protect it, we should remember how that vision was put into words by the man who may be our most essential veteran George Washington. He was essential to our Revolution's success, the creation of our Constitution, and the precedent of how to govern under it. But he also knew his efforts were a means to an end liberty.

"Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth."
"We mean to support the liberty and independence which have cost us so much blood and treasure to establish. ... "
"Your Union ought to be considered as a main prop to your liberty; the love of the one ought to endear you to the preservation of the other."
"As the sword was the last resort for the preservation of our liberties, so ought it be the first to be laid aside when those liberties are firmly established."
"It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty on the supposition that he may abuse it."
"Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty. ... "
"Occupants of public offices love power and are prone to abuse it."
"The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments."
"Government is not reason. It is not eloquence. It is a force, like fire: a dangerous servant and a terrible master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action."
"All those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protections of civil government."
"Government ... instituted to protect the consciences of men from oppression, it is certainly the duty of rulers, not only to abstain from it themselves, but ... to prevent it in others."
"The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered, perhaps, as deeply, as finally staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people."
"The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension ... is itself a frightful despotism. ...The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose ... on the ruins of the public liberty."
"Liberty ... is, indeed, little else than a name, where the government is too feeble to withstand the enterprises of faction. ... "
George Washington was a man of action without whom America, which he called "this land of equal liberty," would not exist. As he put it:
"The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves. ... Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of brave resistance or the most abject submission. We have therefore, to resolve to conquer or die."
In many years as "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen," George Washington left us a legacy of wisdom in what he said as well as what he did. As we honor America's veterans, who laid their lives on the line along with our first commander in chief, remember that what makes their sacrifices especially noble is that they have fought in the ongoing struggle to defend the liberty Washington led the way to win for us.

Gary M. Galles is an economics professor at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif.
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  #2  
Old 11-12-2003, 05:52 AM
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Compare that to the dribble coming from our present day leaders ---of either party. Sure looks like a remarkable decline in the civilization to me. At its founding, and for a while thereafter, our nation was blessed with leaders, and statemen. Now, the idea of government service is seen as a means to amass personal wealth and power. Anyone who wants power that badly ought to be banned from ever attaining it--( especially the " niave-nine).
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Old 11-13-2003, 02:20 AM
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Anyone who wants power that badly ought to be banned from ever attaining it--( especially the " niave-nine).
...the Supreme Court?
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Old 11-13-2003, 04:06 AM
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No, not the Supreme Court. I was referring to the light weights currently seeking the Democrat party prsidential nomination. It seems that their only principle is their party's return to power; no new ideas, no innovation, just " Bush is wrong" and " we want to be president". The president, at least, appears to be guided by some principles, like them or not.
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Old 11-13-2003, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MS Fowler
No, not the Supreme Court. I was referring to the light weights currently seeking the Democrat party prsidential nomination. It seems that their only principle is their party's return to power; no new ideas, no innovation, just " Bush is wrong" and " we want to be president". The president, at least, appears to be guided by some principles, like them or not.
That's it! I couldn't succinctly put into words what was wrong with the Democratic debate (so far). They all seem earnestly in search of the one-line soundbit that will establish the ultimate Bush put-down. That's great if your a political cartoonist but doesn't do much to inspire support.

I just listened to Gen Clark on "Hardball". He said two things that stuck with me.

#1 Iraq has no strategic value.

#2 He described a successful adventure in Iraq as a country sufficiently strong to protect its own borders but not so strong as to threaten its neighbors and lastly, a government that reflects the popular will of the people.

Criticism
#1 Has he never heard the word, "oil"?

#2 A popular government is last in the list? Not even democratic, but reflects the "popular will" of the people? I'm sorry, but the man or woman who wants to control my destiny better have establishment of liberal democracy as his number one priority.

But at least he said something more than Bush shouldn't have landed on a carrier. Good grief.
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Old 11-13-2003, 08:09 PM
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Ya know, I've been meaning to post my own little thread about just what the two of you have been discussing.

Ask the average adult what a Republican is and what they stand for, and you'll more than likely hear: "fewer taxes--smaller government--strong support for business--etc." Some positions are principled, some are a bit squishy.

Ask the same question about Libertarians, and fewer would really be able to recite off the top of their heads, but they'd probably get the gist of it fairly quickly. Principled positions.

Green Party--most would obviously state something about support for the environment, or their 10 Key Values, etc. Again, principled positions.

What about Democrats? What the hell do they stand for, or represent anymore? I don't think even registered Dems could coherently explain it themselves. Principled? I don't think so...

Hence, the weird hodge podge of dopes on a rope, or the so-called naive nine.

GW on the other hand isn't stupid, but he's clearly a stooge for his cavalcade of corporate sponsors and nutty rightwing special interest groups--big news there

2004 will boil down to voting for 'worse' or 'worser' -- I might just sit this one out...
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  #7  
Old 11-14-2003, 08:53 AM
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Originally posted by Zeitgeist
....Ask the average adult what a Republican is and what they stand for, and you'll more than likely hear: "fewer taxes--smaller government--strong support for business--etc." Some positions are principled, some are a bit squishy.....
I think there is a big difference between the average Republican and the RNC. You're generalization is probably pretty accurate about the average Repo. I think the RNC is deeply cynical. I have never heard of a Republican government that actually downsized. They redefine downsizing as slowing the rate of growth. Some of the greatest growth in government has been under Republican leadership. Same with gov spending. The RNC sings music to which the average guy loves to dance, but the RNC hasn't the balls for the follow-through. Instead, they blame the opposition party.

I think avarage Republicans and Democrats see fundemantally different roles for government. I think DNC and RNC are fundementally interchangeable. The candidates reflect the views of the National Committees, not the rank and file.

The National Commitees have done an excellent job of stacking the system against outsiders and alternative parties. The Campaign Finance laws are an excellent example of collusion between parties to stifle opposition.

The smaller parties are still mostly grassroots and so closely reflect their (miniscule) constituencies views.
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Old 11-14-2003, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Zeitgeist
...
Ask the average adult what a Republican is and what they stand for, and you'll more than likely hear: "fewer taxes--smaller government--strong support for business--etc." Some positions are principled, some are a bit squishy....

What about Democrats? What the hell do they stand for, or represent anymore? I don't think even registered Dems could coherently explain it themselves. Principled? I don't think so...
I agree that Republicans are for fewer taxes and strong support for business, but since 1980, and maybe earlier, the Republican party has not been for smaller government. Contrary to what they say, Republicans have fought for a strong, centralized, intrusive federal government. They have proven it time and again, with tort "reform" being the latest example. They give the appearance of having principled positions, but their "principles" consist mainly of flag-waving and grandstanding.

People often repeat the RNC line about Democrats having no new ideas. It's an effective line because any politician who says what he or she really thinks can never get elected anyway (for example, during the 2000 campaign, Karl Rove knew that Bush should advocate a humble foreign policy because it is hard to get elected running on an imperialist platform). Even when a Democratic candidate gives some new ideas, people just say, "Oh, yeah, well you have no new ideas." I don't know how the RNC does it, but they are the masters of getting people to accept arguments that they know are not true, with the liberal media myth being the granddaddy of all phony arguments.
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Old 11-14-2003, 10:01 AM
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Originally posted by dculkin
I agree that Republicans are for fewer taxes and strong support for business, but since 1980, and maybe earlier, the Republican party has not been for smaller government. Contrary to what they say, Republicans have fought for a strong, centralized, intrusive federal government. They have proven it time and again, with tort "reform" being the latest example. They give the appearance of having principled positions, but their "principles" consist mainly of flag-waving and grandstanding.

People often repeat the RNC line about Democrats having no new ideas. It's an effective line because any politician who says what he or she really thinks can never get elected anyway (for example, during the 2000 campaign, Karl Rove knew that Bush should advocate a humble foreign policy because it is hard to get elected running on an imperialist platform). Even when a Democratic candidate gives some new ideas, people just say, "Oh, yeah, well you have no new ideas." I don't know how the RNC does it, but they are the masters of getting people to accept arguments that they know are not true, with the liberal media myth being the granddaddy of all phony arguments.
Oh yeah, I forgot: the DNC are saints.
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Old 11-14-2003, 10:46 AM
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Botnst and dculkin, I agree (mostly) with the both of you.

My original point centers on 'marketing' the message, and public perceptions of the four principal parties on the American political landscape. You've successfully pointed out the depressing realities behind the rhetoric, but I want to get back to the issue of marketing and perception...

While the RNC/DNC political machines are morally and ethically bankrupt entities, the RNC alone has consistently and effectively marketed its 'brand' image to the American public. Of course they've been helped along the way by a coterie of rightwing thinktanks and talking heads (Heritage Foundation, AEI, Grover Norquist, Fox News, etc.).

Bottomline--the RNC as a partisan marketing tool has worked quite well, while the DNC has languished, mired in a muddled message and peculiar fixation with morphing itself into a version of RNC-lite. I don't think the public gets too 'pumped up' by this kind of stale bureaucratic shell game. I'm amazed Al Gore actually won the 2000 election by mainly presenting himself as 'not George Bush', despite agreeing with GW no less than 32 times during the second 'debate'. A pathetic marketing strategy...


The two smaller political parties rally their troops by marketing a coherent set of principles and approaches to governance and social order. They're both largely untested, but if we had a truly free 'marketplace' of political ideas and values, these two would surely grow exponentially, if not at the expense of the other two, then by bringing new voters into the fray.
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Old 11-14-2003, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dculkin
...I don't know how the RNC does it, but they are the masters of getting people to accept arguments that they know are not true, with the liberal media myth being the granddaddy of all phony arguments.

I'd say that goes both ways. Yes, there are conservative media out there (you listed them), but the media as a whole is largely liberal. I think the biggest problem is that most Americans base their political beliefs and opinions on little soundbites they hear on televised news. Yeah, many don't have time to actually read the paper, let alone several different new sources. But most televised news programs come from liberal-minded producers and talent, and that's where the majority of people get their information.

BTW, I work as a director/technical director in television (I'm doing Capital Report at MSNBC tonight), but I won't go so far as to say I'm an expert on information!
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Old 11-14-2003, 01:33 PM
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BTW, I work as a director/technical director in television (I'm doing Capital Report at MSNBC tonight), but I won't go so far as to say I'm an expert on information!
...may we say you're an expert on info-tainment then?

The liberal media charge is a red herring. I think it's more accurate to describe the media's bias as pro-establishment. Establishment thinking predominates, with light variations in ideological flavor to spice it up with either a slightly left of center or right of center spin.

No conspiracy there, just a confederacy of dunces...
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Old 11-14-2003, 01:59 PM
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Originally posted by Zeitgeist
...may we say you're an expert on info-tainment then?

The liberal media charge is a red herring. I think it's more accurate to describe the media's bias as pro-establishment. Establishment thinking predominates, with light variations in ideological flavor to spice it up with either a slightly left of center or right of center spin.

No conspiracy there, just a confederacy of dunces...
Golly Z, they've caught us in agreement, again!

The nomenclature is terrible. The silly labels are incongruous with the facts. Your reference to "establishment" is a lot more accurate. In that sense, both Demos and Repos are establishmentarian--they merely struggle over the seat of power from which they differentially and preferentially dispense klepto-treasure.

Thus, it would be more accurate to say that the media bias is toward a certain party's power faction, not to true liberality. However, I think the conservative media is generally more truly conservative than party-oriented. I have no doubt plenty of folks will be able to list examples of why I am wrong. Its possibly true.

In my estimation the print media is more honest about particular politics and philosophies. Anybody have any trouble figuring-out "The Nation" or "National Review"?
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Old 11-14-2003, 02:33 PM
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In my estimation the print media is more honest about particular politics and philosophies. Anybody have any trouble figuring-out "The Nation" or "National Review"?
...ah this digresses even further...

At this point I maintain my subscription to The Nation simply because it's a weekly, and there are no better "Left" alternatives that arrive with that frequency.

Sadly, The Nation is a wholely-owned subsidiary of the Democrat party, which bugs me to no end. Thankfully Alexander Cockburn still writes a column in which he relentlessly pokes them in the eyes for their duplicitous contempt for values and principles.

Their hatchet-job treatment of third party politics is the most contemptable proof that The Nation isn't really a 'values' publication, but rather a partisan goon squad, hell-bent on electing any doofus with a D next to their name.-- don't get me started.

I'm sure the National Review operates under the same partisan imperatives.
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Old 11-14-2003, 10:07 PM
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Originally posted by Zeitgeist
...ah this digresses even further...
I'm sure the National Review operates under the same partisan imperatives.
Okay I admit, since Hitchens (my personal iconic iconoclast) left, I haven't read the Nation with any regularity. They are not as adamantly contemptuous of the Democrats as you are, but they sure didn't want to have their baby, either.

National Review is more in bed with Republicans than Nation with Democrats. I think that's because the National Review is more mainstream than Nation, but I assume you'd say that they're all too establishmentarian?

Z, I'm torn on that one.

For intellectual purity's sake I'd love for Reason to continually castigate National Review and Repos everywhere. Equally, I'd love for some SWP rag to go after Nation and the Demos. But in the greater scheme of things, most of society, unlike you and me, are not extremist ideologues and could care less about National Review or Nation, nevermind the rags with some purity.

Botnst
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